Sunday, March 3, 2013

Confrontation / Transgression

Joke Lanz & Ute Waldhausen 1 : 1
live at Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival
December 2 2012 Arnolfini Bristol UK

Video by moju
Mixing by Rashad Becker

Despite not being spattered with shit, I enjoyed Extreme Rituals immensely. One Performance, in particular, I thought represented Schimpfluch style at its most true to form and at its most valuable.
Topless, Joke Lanz and Ute Waldhausen slapped and caressed each other with microphones attached to their hands, using feedback and the sounds of their confrontation to craft a fractious, spiky composition. I forget who threw the first punch, but the vigour with which they went at each other, not to mention the toplessness, made this set the weekend's most transgressive in the old school sense. It's power came from the way Lanz and Waldhausen appeared to compress the dynamic contours of a whole relationship, alternately tender and abusive, collaborative and destructive, into their drama. One of the oldest arguments in favour of transgressive art - one cited by Throbbing Gristle and Mike Dando, among others - is that it serves as a tool for the existentialist. By offending you, it makes you aware that you've been conditioned to be offended, and challenges you to take control of your reactions. But graphic depictions of sexual abuse, or Second World War atrocities, have been so common for so long - in the world of harsh noise at least, which is where Schimpfluch fans tend to reside - that they've lost their power to shock and become mere accessories of genre, redundant next to a mainstream culture already saturated by pornography and violence. Lanz and Waldhausen's performance was rare, then, in that it shocked - and shocked into reflection, not disgust.

THE WIRE - Nick Richardson  February 2013

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